They Were Soldiers

I’m very patriotic honoring the past, patient with the future, proud to be an American no matter what’s presently going on.

I’m a soldier’s daughter after all.

My dad served during the Second World War in the Royal Air Force (RAF) flying planes, stealing the hearing in his left ear as an honorary keepsake.

He never talked about his war days, and could never even watch a movie or newsreel that showed any kind of warfare. He kept what he saw locked in his heart, alcohol muting its memory.

I’ve often wondered if that’s what truly caused the alcoholism that eventually killed him, another casualty of war.

It brings me to Meyer, the Vietnam Vet, who panhandles in front of Best Buy wearing vintage fatigues, his dog tags entwining a sign that reads…

A Vietnam Veteran Who Needs Your Help

He always has a beer in a paper bag the cops never seem to bust him for.

Is it out of guilt.


I wonder if the masses walking past him realize the sacrifice he made. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention he’s got one arm that ends at his elbow, swaying in the sunshine like a lopsided ear of corn.

When I walked the Gettysburg Battlefield where in 1863 Pickett’s Charge took place, I thought I heard cries mewling from the earth. To this day I’m truly not sure if I imagined it or not. Patton claimed he heard them too, on other fields, from other wars.

Deadspeak, I’ve heard it called, where the souls that are trapped still trying to take flight, howl for help.

Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred…

There’s a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried. The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other…

“Remember The Alamo.”

Robert Dale Draper, 19, was killed in an ambush.
Stan King, 21, was killed less than a week after reaching Vietnam.
Alfred Van Whitmer, 21, was killed while on patrol.
Larry J. West, 19 was shot near Quang Nam.
Jose Moncayo, 22, was part of an entire platoon wiped out.
Clive Garcia, 22, was killed by a booby trap while leading a patrol.

Daddy, we’ll remember the fallen, even if it’s painful…even if we don’t know all their names.

Memorial Day…2019

A Soldier’s Daughter.  





About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in alcohol, Books, Culture, Faith, Family, History, humanity, inspiration, war, words, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to They Were Soldiers

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    Authentic, beautifully written and from the heart. A wonderful tribute for the holiday weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    I can not begin to imagine the horrors of war, let alone being thrust into its midst. The sacrifices that our soldiers have made for our freedom should never be forgotten or taken for granted.
    This is a day for collective rememberance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Very sweet


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorryless says:


    You’ve outdone yourself with this beautiful tribute to the individuals whose sacrifice can never be repaid by us. And as you well know, they do not even so much as ask for a thank you. They regard their service as that which needed doing, simple as that.

    Of course, none of it is simple.

    Love this piece, SB.

    Peace and love to you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vasca Beall says:

    Memorial Day…it isn’t about cook outs, fun and games. It’s about remembering. The day my husband left the front lines in Korea his tank was hit. Thankfully no one was injured or killed. The day he returned from Viet-Nam was quiet in the air terminal. He was quiet then and for a long time. He rarely talked of it…he did say it was the worst year of his life. He served this country with his heart and soul for 32 years. We lost so many wonderful friends and I still weep watching movies about wars…watching parades even touches me from inside out. I’m writing this, thinking of what you’re written so beautifully and yes, I’m shedding tears because of what has been given to save this awesome United States…at such cost. So many gave so much and we owe them our respect, and heartfelt love.


  6. I’m remembering with you.


  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    It’s just shocking how many have perished or been forever altered on the battlefields of this world. Thanks for remembering them in this tribute.


  8. robprice59 says:

    My Dad was in the RAF too. I’m always torn between respect for the sacrifices made and utter amazement that we can do so much remembering but so little learning. Did those brave people suffer just so we could go on killing, maiming and blighting lives? I think not.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. robprice59 says:

    Back when I was blogging, I told of the scorn I prompted by raising the remember versus learn issue. Folk said I was shitting on the graves of our heroes. I think, given the choice between life and a shit-free grave, most would choose life. Of course, I could be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can all be wrong, or not, but the world is spinning out of control alright. We weren’t around, me for either World War, you during The Blitz. I’m sure those who were felt the way we do. History does repeat itself Mick, even if it looks slightly different. It’s just smoke and mirrors if you ask me.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    I missed this one, and apologise for my tardiness. My only excuse is I’ve been moving all week
    Beautiful tribute you have done here.
    You are a true patriot

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t think anyone who’s not been there can really know what it’s like to be in combat and the sacrifice of those who have seen it. It’s terrible how little support we give veterans after they come back. My grandfather who was in WW2 was an alcoholic too. I never got to talk to him since he died when I was very young.

    Liked by 1 person

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